The name "Malaysia" is a combination of
the word "Malay" and the Latin-Greek
The word "melayu" in Malay derived from
the Tamil words "malai" and "ur" meaning
"mountain" and "city, land", respectively.
"Malayadvipa" was the word used by
ancient Indian traders when referring to
the Malay Peninsula
Brief History of Malaysia
A busy seaport for European and Far East
traders for many hundreds of years.
Starts with the history of Melaka, founded in
the 13th century by a Sumatran prince
Became the most influential port city in
A Portuguese fleet led by Alfonso de
Albuquerque sailed into Melaka harbor
He captured the city with canon fire
Brief History of Malaysia
The Dutch captured the city from the Portuguese
They controlled the spice trade
British administration replaced the Dutch and established
a trading post in Singapore
Penang and Melaka – “Straits Settlements”
The British Administration lasted 138 years.
The British granted independence to Malaya in 1957 in
Tunku Abdul Rahman – first prime minister of Malaya
A federal constitutional
Yang di-Pertuan Agong
Head of state and serves in a ceremonial
Najib Tun Razak
The head of government is the prime
Malaysia has a bicameral parliament, with
a 70-member Senate and a 222-member
House of Representatives. Senators are
elected by state legislatures or appointed
by the king; members of the House are
directly elected by the people.
General courts, including the Federal
Court, Court of Appeals, high courts,
session courts, etc., hear all types of
cases. A separate division of sharia courts
hears cases pertaining only to Muslims.
Did you know?
About two thirds of Malaysia is covered in
forest, with some forests believed to be 130
million years old.
Rafflesia genus, the largest flower in the
world, with a maximum of 3 ft.
Malaysia has three main religions: Islam, Buddhism,
practiced in Malaysia is known as Islam Hadhari,
which encourages an open mind, tolerance,
inclusivity, honesty, and hard work.
the complete book of guidance for mankind
“Whosoever performs good deeds, whether male or female,
and is a believer, we shall surely make him live a good life,
and We will certainly reward them for the best of what they
did."(Qur'an, An-Nahl 16:97)
Five Pillars of Islam
1. Shahadah: declaring there is no god except Allah,
and Muhammad is God's Messenger
2. Salat: ritual prayer five times a day
3. Zakat: giving 2.5% of one’s savings to the poor and needy
4. Sawm: fasting and self-control during the holy month
5. Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in a lifetime if one is
History of Literature
Malaysian literature is typically written in any of the
country’s four main languages: Malay, English,
Chinese, and Tamil.
It portrays various aspects of Malaysian life.
Early Malays literature was influenced by Indian
epics, such as the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.
begins with the coming of Islam in the late 15th
century; no literary works dating from the Hindu
period (4th to late 15th centuries)
History of Literature
The earliest works of Malaysian literature were
transmitted orally in the absence of writing scripts.
By the 19th century, written literature occurred.
Traditional Malay poetry was used for
entertainment and the recording of history and
Three Forms of Traditional Malay Poetry
sacred message of a text; repeated word or
phrase in meditation (e.g “Om”, “Om Namo”)
a traditional oral form of expression
consists of a quatrain which employs an
abab rhyme scheme
can be a narrative poem, a didactic poem, or a
poem used to convey ideas
on religion or philosophy, or even one to
describe historical event
Seloka – a poem, similar to pantum
Madah – rhyming speech; a discourse through
Gurindam – poetry that sets to music
Fables in Malaysia:
Kancil (mouse deer)
- serves as the main character in a number of
- regards as the humble animal in the highest
Abdullah Abdul Kadir
a Malayan writer of Indian origin
most cultured Malay who ever wrote
one of the greatest innovators in Malay letters
the father of modern Malay literature
He wrote Hikayat Abdullah, an autobiography
Ee Tiang Hong
was a Malayan poet of Chinese ancestry
wrote poetry in English
His first book of poetry appeared in 1960
Some New Perspectives
Race, language, religion,
the categories do not satisfy;
what do they say of you and me,
the space, the silences between?
Not always negative, I am
more or less than your images,
the truth is always partly,
a few hints here and there.
That's how it is — conceptual
smithereens, in spurts
and starts, a world view,
the twentieth century's, ours.
best poet in the Malay language
did not produce a very large corpus of
poetry, only about 200 of them
poems are simple, clear, often romantic,
a master at weaving words into striking
phrases, sentences and verses that are
of exceptional classical beauty and
sometimes appear to be nostalgic and
a Malaysian actor, director and writer
based in Singapore
One of Malaysia's leading dramatists
His plays, often charged with dark humor,
political satire, and surrealistic twists, have
won numerous awards and international